This is Alzheimer’s — A Poem

Sometimes I write poems to make things more light
But this poem, I’ll tell you, isn’t about something bright
It’s about a disease that’s so very scary
That has stolen my dad, you may know him as Gary

Alzheimer’s disease is not fun and games
It has real victims with faces and names
It’s more than a joke, “Old Timer’s” they say
If only they knew, they wouldn’t think that’s OK

You see, this disease is so very real
Memories, laughter, hope it can steal
Families are torn apart at the seams
As this disease continues to steal their dreams

I know, I can tell you, it’s stolen a lot
My dad’s not the same, he certainly is not
And neither are we, each of us altered
I wish I could say none of us faltered

But the truth of the matter is that we did
Some people stepped up, some people hid
I try to stay positive, but some days it’s hard
I cry nearly daily, my life has been marred

I miss my dad often and I so miss my mom
This disease has come at her life like a bomb
She’s a civilian casualty of an ugly disease
Her life forever changed, she’s brought to her knees

It’s hard to have hope, to look past today
To know or to feel that all is OK
It’s not, not right now; our family suffers
Alzheimer’s disease carries no buffers

There’s anger and fear and total despair
We don’t know what we’ll find when we visit there
Broken dishes, torn papers, strewn on the floor
The disease keeps taking more and more … and more

No one sees the inner workings of this disease known as Alz
The don’t think it can hit their family and pals
I assure you, it can, it will and it does
It’s more than a word to drive political buzz

We’re proof that it happens when it’s least expected
It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived your life as directed
There’s no getting out, no emergency eject
Once you’re in it, you’re stuck, don’t pass go, don’t collect

Don’t get me wrong, there still is some light
Our family is close, we’ll always be tight
We have our memories and happy thoughts of each other
Mom, dad, child, sister, brother

I know we’ll get through this, we have no option
We’re all too old to be put up for adoption
Facing Alzheimer’s is a hard, hard battle
And even the strongest of families may rattle

It also reminds us to hug others tight
And never to end the night on a fight
Because every moment we have is a gift
Sometimes, my friends, that’s enough for a lift

The hope in the darkness may be hard to find
But it lies in the people who share love, who are kind
The ones who support us, the ones we can call
To help us, to hold us, to listen to us bawl

I share this poem not to make this a joke
I want to make it more digestible for folk
I want my tears and my words to matter
Sharing our suffering may break through the chatter

Not simply a buzz word, the “in” disease of the day
Alzheimer’s disease is not going away
Every 67 seconds someone develops this beast
That’s not a small number, not in the least

If you’re not affected by it just yet
You will be one day, on that I will bet
You may get it yourself or love someone who does
I never thought that’d be true, but for us it sure was

So spend your days loving as hard as you can
Make memories, take photos, laugh lots and hold hands
And know that though dark times may come down the line
The light does remain and through it all it can shine

If you’re interested in making a difference by contributing to the Fight to End Alzheimer’s, please consider making a donation to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This money is used for research and to spread awareness about this disease. You can donate to Gary’s Gang here. And, if you’re interested in learning about Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website. 



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4 responses to “This is Alzheimer’s — A Poem

  1. robert baker

    Kimi: Once again you were able to share your inner feelings with the world. It brought tears to my eyes for you and your dad and memories of my mom who struggled through several years of it. My heart goes out to you, your mom (the caregiver) and your dad. Thanks for sharing. Dad B


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